The importance of testing in any environment cannot be overestimated. When you’re not sure what to do, then create a trial, set stringent success criteria, and launch and measure.

The greatness of capitalist societies is that this process happens every day around us. Back in the late 90s, there were many search engines, and many different ways of displaying and obtaining successful search results. Each different one was tested in the marketplace – AltaVista, Lycos, Ask Jeeves, Yahoo and Google. Google was the resounding winner of a mass experiment. The trial never ends, with Wolfram Alpha and Bing launching their versions and testing them against Google.

Even when it comes to people’s personal lives, what is the search for a partner except a specialised trial and error experiment. You date until you find a match – many people keep testing even after that!

Any company that wants to stay in business, needs to remind itself to not get stale, and to be prepared to change its model, or their working processes, or they will risk extinction. The market changes so much that any other strategy is madness. Companies should continually be running trials of new departments, new product lines, or ways of meeting the needs of their customers. If the trial doesn’t work, you can roll back with minimal damage.

If the trial works, you need to be prepared to act on what the data is telling you and fully commit. A plan half executed will not get you anywhere.